Heidi
Heidi
© Tobias Witzgall

Heidi

Johanna Spyri

Children’s play with music / Stage adaptation by Marco Dott

Premiere 08/11/2020 / Salzburg State Theatre

Synopsis

What does one need to be happy? Not much – as little Heidi quickly finds out when her aunt Dete takes her to live with her grandfather, high up on a mountain. The “Alm-Uncle”, as the locals call him, is an old crank who lives alone in a sparsely furnished hut. Will he and Heidi get along? Five-year old Heidi soon wins the old man’s heart with her disarming honesty and unabashed zest for life. And she discovers that all she needs to be happy is the mountains, the alpenglow, the fresh air – and her Alm-Uncle. Together with her new friend, Peter the goatherd, she enjoys the freedom of life in the mountains. Heidi has found a home.

But all of a sudden Aunt Dete returns to take Heidi to the wealthy Sesemann family in the big city. Their daughter Clara is confined to a wheelchair and needs a companion. Heidi hits the Sesemann household like a whirlwind and shows Clara how to enjoy life. The two become best friends, but Heidi’s longing for her grandfather, for Peter and for the mountains grows with each passing day. The only thing for her to do is to go home!

With its fresh and humorous production and energetic choreographies, this new version of the wonderful story about an independent child of the mountains shows that “Heidi” is anything but corny, but rather a beautiful tale about friendship, belonging and the search for one’s place in the world.

Johanna Spyri (1827–1901) wrote the touching story of strong and optimistic little Heidi 140 years ago. Her books “Heidi: Her Years of Wandering and Learning” and “Heidi: How She Used What She Learned”, published in 1879 and 1880, have so far been made into eight animated films, five TV series and twelve feature films. Generations of children all over the world have grown up with “Heidi”, one of the best-known works of Swiss literature.

Marco Dott has staged many great plays for young audiences. His productions of “Momo”, “The Robber Hotzenplotz” and “König Badeschwamm” are still fondly remembered. Together with his team he now presents a new take on the story of Heidi. This modern and lovingly created production of a classic children’s book includes much music and opens up a thrilling world to old and young theatre lovers.